Dolby Vision versus HDR-10 TV: A format war and more reports that high dynamic range (HDR) TV is here and it looks great. But it’s in its early stages, and there’s a potential format war brewing.

4K UHD (2160p resolution) is no longer the big news in TV land. HDR (High Dynamic Range) has supplanted it in the conversation. Why? It’s not lack of detail, insufficient pixels, or 1080p resolution in general that’s been the major issue with TVs for the last few years. It’s been the lack of contrast and washed-out colors caused by the adoption of thin-enabling, energy-saving, but color-challenged LED backlighting.

HDR and the technologies that enable it—less leaky LCDs, better backlighting, improved LED/phosphor combinations, quantum dots, to name a few—take contrast to historically high levels, provide an unprecedented level of detail in both dark and bright areas, and as a corollary effect, restore the color we once had with CRTs and LED panels backlit by CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lamps). Note that these are largely improvements affecting LED LCD TVs. OLED TVs have been colorful and largely capable of rendering HDR-like images for a while.


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